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REITs Going Greener, Consumers Priced Out of Green Products, Greener Hotels, and Eco-friendly Home Costing (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Real estate industry quietly embracing green development, with 41% of U.S. REITs actively pursuing energy efficiency and green building upgrades. 
  2. Business leaders aver that even though companies are greening products of all kinds, buyers are unwilling to pay a green premium (ed. note = consumers probably think the premium is unjustifiably exorbitant, even with the green components). 
  3. Enjoy your green stay: hotels are rolling out all sorts of green programs, in part because customers demand them, and in part because they save money. 
  4. The eco-friendly house (and renovation) has gone mainstream, but is it really worth the cost? 

Armstrong's HQ Receives LEED-EB Platinum Award

Armstrong HQ

[Video: 4:25 min.Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: AWI) is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and operates in the business of designing and manufacturing floors, ceilings, and cabinets.  Their current headquarters was built in 1998 and is now part of an elite group of buildings to obtain the LEED Platinum certification for existing buildings.  Feel free to click the above link to see video of Armstrong’s HQ building.  The 3-story building is a glass and steel structure that has workspaces for about 235 employees.  Here are a few things they did to take the green plunge:

  • 60% of the building’s waste is recycled;
  • Building water use was reduced to 420,000 gallons (from 800,000 gallons);
  • Less than 1.5 watts/sf of energy is used, which is 1/2 the national average for comparable properties;
  • 75% of the building’s power is supplied by wind energy; and
  • Green Seal-certified cleaning products are used throughout the building. 

Now the question is:  if you own your headquarters, have you looked into LEED-EB certification through the USGBC?  We’ve seen Adobe & Owens Corning do it.  Now we have Armstrong.  Who’s next?

Good Links:
++Armstrong LEED-EB Facts & Information Page
++Armstrong Headquarters Receives LEED-EB Platinum Certification [PR]

Arrowhead by SOM in South Quay, London (S2)

SOM Arrowhead

With the weird looking skyscrapers, there’s a business problem of having expensive, unusable space.  Often, the most pragmatic, profitable shape is the plain old rectangle.  So for the sake of staying grounded in reality, today I’m going back to the boxy, modern-style skyscraper.  Above is Arrowhead, a 525,000 sf office building under construction in South Quay, London (UK) by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  The 26-story building is expecting an "excellent" rating under BREEAM, the environmental building assessment tool used in the UK.  Among other green features, Arrowhead will have a green roof on the top and a mid-level rooftop terrace.  The building also has a glass climate wall with external metal shading to retain heat gain in the winter and permit cooling in the summer. 

Good Links:
++Arrowhead, London, United Kingdom [SOM]
++SOM Gets Green Light for Office Development in Millennium Quarter [WAN]

SOM Arrowhead Lobby

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

Sprawl Lawsuit, Green Multifamily, Greener Hotels, & CB Richard Ellis (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Citing the threat posed by climate change, California State Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed suit against San Bernardino County for failing to rein in sprawl. 
  2. AIA releases a web feature on incorporating green design elements to enhance multifamily communities. 
  3. Major hotel chains are starting to change their environmentally wasteful ways and design "greener" buildings. 
  4. CB Richard Ellis Group becomes the first major commercial real estate services company to announce plans to go carbon neutral (and do it by 2010) and assist its clients with energy-efficiency programs. 

First 1 Hotel & Residences, Starwood's Green Brand, Breaks Ground in Seattle

Seattle1hotelresidences It looks like the joint-venture partnership of AvStar Seattle LLC, which is the combo of Starwood Capital Group Global LLC (SCGG) and Avalon Holdings, broke ground on the world’s first 1 Hotel & Residences in Seattle.  The 23-story, mixed-use development will be at Second Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle.  The $200 M development, which is slated for occupancy in the winter 2008, includes retail, residential, and hotel components with amenities such as a 40,000 sf athletic club, organic specialty restaurant and grocer, and 8,000 sf spa.  There will be 110 "City Suites" and 98 condominiums, of which, the City Suites have already been oversubscribed and pre-reserved.  Also, the LEED-certified hotel will receive the 5-star management services of SCGG.  We know the building was designed by Sienna Architecture, and there are some good renderings at the links below, but specific details on green amenities are still a little tough to come by.  We’ll keep monitoring the roll out of the 1 green hotel brand. 

Good Links:
++1 Hotel & Residences [Official Website]
++1 Hotel & Residences [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
++Avalon, Starwood Capital Break Ground on First 1 Hotel & Residences [GLN]
++Starwood Announces New Green Hotel: 1 Hotel & Residences [JG]

Siberian Mixed-Use Ecological Tower by Foster + Partners

Ecologicaltower
Siberiantower

When I first saw the concept renderings, I thought I was looking at a diamond perched upon a hill.  To the contrary, the images show a new mixed-use sustainable tower concept, or "ecological tower," by Foster + Partners for Khanty Mansiysk, Siberia.  The tower rises on the foundation of two podium buildings, each diamond-cut in style to allow light to penetrate the atrium.  The apex of the tower will have a panoramic viewing platform and restaurant for guests to gaze out into the city.  Paramount to the design is the desire to facilitate solar gain (it’s cold in Siberia) and allow natural lighting.  Encompassed by a densely wooded area, the architects designed the building to minimize disturbance to the landscape. 

Good Links:
++Designs Revealed for New Ecological Tower in Siberia [Foster + Partners]
++Siberia’s Sparkling Eco Tower [WAN]

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